3 Ways to Explore
Essential Las Vegas
indispendable information about living in Las Vegas
Now that you’ve settled in to your new home and neighborhood, it’s time to take care of a few immediate tasks, including applying for a Nevada driver’s license and registering your vehicle. You’ll also find answers to your commuting questions, including which freeways connect the area to places beyond. Learn about local police, fire services and how they keep residents safe and secure, plus what you need to know about registering to vote. Tips for adapting to a desert climate are also provided along with a description of mandatory water restrictions in place for the summer months.

Cars are the preferred means of transportation in the area. According to the U.S. Census, 78 percent of Clark County workers drove to work alone from 2005-2007, 12 percent carpooled, 4 percent took public transportation and 4 percent used other means. The remaining 3 percent worked at home. Among those who commuted to work, it took them on average 24.4 minutes to get to work.

Driving and Registering Your Vehicle
Once you’ve set up residency in the Las Vegas area and you have a local address, one of your first essential stops will be to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) where you’ll be able to apply for a Nevada driver’s license and register your vehicle. New residents have 30 days to obtain a Nevada driver’s license and 60 days to register their vehicle. The fine for failing to register is $250 to $500, and it’s a law the state takes seriously.

Non-Commercial Driver’s License Fees
  • Original Non-Commercial License or Instruction Permit:...... $22 ($17 if 65 or older)
  • Renewal:.......................................................................................... $22 ($17 if 65 or older)
  • Late Renewal In Person - Expired Over 30 Days:.................... $32 ($27 if 65 or older)
  • Duplicate Driver License:.............................................................. $17
  • Change of Name:........................................................................... $8
  • Change of Address:....................................................................... $3

Identification Card Fees
  • Under 18 - Original, Renewal or Duplicate:...............................$6
  • 18-64 - Original, Renewal or Duplicate:.....................................$12
  • 65 or older - Original or Duplicate:..............................................$7
  • 65 or older - Renewal:...................................................................$3
  • Change of Name:...........................................................................$7
  • Change of Address:.......................................................................$3

Vehicle Registration
It’s important to know that out-of-state insurance is not accepted. Motorists who do not maintain coverage from a Nevada-licensed carrier are subject to registration suspension and a reinstatement fee. Also be prepared to bring in your out-of-state license plates.
Nevada charges a basic registration fee, governmental services taxes and miscellaneous fees for titles, license plates and inspections. You must register your vehicle for a full year and renew your registration annually.

— Registration Fee
Registration fees are charged based on the class of the vehicle and its weight. Funds are used primarily for state road construction. Nevada also has a basic registration fee, which are as follows:
  • The basic Registration Fee for passenger cars, trucks and motorcycles under 6,000 pounds is $33.00. Trailers under 1,000 pounds are $12.00, 1,000 pounds or above are $24. There are graduated scales based on weight for larger vehicles.
  • The amount of the Governmental Services Tax is 4 cents on each $1.00 of the depreciated DMV Valuation of the vehicle. Governmental Services Taxes fund local governments, school districts and the state General Fund.
  • Supplemental Governmental Services Tax is 1 cent on each $1.00 of the depreciated DMV Valuation. This is a voter-approved tax used for highway construction in the counties which charge it, currently Clark and Churchill.
  • The DMV Valuation of a vehicle is 35% of the original Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). MSRP is set when the vehicle is new and will not change over time.
  • The DMV Valuation is depreciated 5% after the first year and 10% per year thereafter until it reaches a minimum of 15%. The minimum Governmental Services Tax is $16.00. *
  • Sales Taxes on dealer purchases rates vary by county. See www.dmvnv.com for current rates.
  • There are other factors which determine the final cost of registering a vehicle. Fees for a first-time Nevada title are $28.25 and there are small charges for items such as license plates. DMV collects sales taxes on many out-of-state dealer sales.
* These are the new values implemented under Senate Bill 429. Previously, valuations were depreciated 15% after the first year and 10% per year with a minimum of 5%. Older vehicles have increased fees because the lowest depreciation rate has been raised from 5% to 15%. The minimum Governmental Services Tax has been raised from $6 to $16.

— Governmental Services Tax
Nevada also collects the following additional taxes to support local government entities:
  • Governmental Services tax: This is a value - based fee for vehicles registering in Nevada. These taxes are returned to your local city, county and school district.
  • Supplemental Governmental Services Tax: This is an additional fee for vehicles in Clark, Churchill and White Pine counties. The funds are returned to those counties to be used specifically for road construction.

Miscellaneous fees include a Prison Industries fee of 50 cents per license plate, a title fee of $20 and a title processing fee of $8.25 if a new title is being issued.

Sales taxes are paid to Nevada dealers at the time of the sale. DMV will verify whatever sales taxes were paid to an out-of-state dealer and charge the motorist any difference between that amount and what would have been due in Nevada. Sales taxes are not charged on private-party sales that occurred on or after January 1, 2006.

“Governmental Services Taxes” were previously known as “Privilege Taxes.” The 2001 Nevada Legislature enacted the name change to more-accurately reflect the purpose of these fees.

Nevada Traffic Laws At A Glance
Here is an easy-to-read summary of some of the important traffic laws in Nevada provided by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles,

— Open Container
Nevada has an open container law. It is illegal to have opened alcoholic beverages in the driver or passenger areas of a vehicle while it is being driven. NRS 484.448

— Driving Under the Influence
You cannot refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test as directed by a police officer. Blood samples can be drawn involuntarily, even on a first offense.
  • Legal Limits: .08 percent blood alcohol level or any detectable amount of a controlled substance. (.02 if under 21, .04 in commercial driving)
  • Driver’s license revoked for 90 days upon arrest.
  • Vehicle may be impounded.

These are administrative penalties which are taken immediately. Courts impose additional criminal penalties upon conviction. NRS 484.379

— Accidents
All accidents that involve injuries or damages of $750 or more must be reported to DMV. If a police officer does not investigate the accident, all of the involved parties must file reports on DMV Form SR-1 within 10 days.

You must provide your driver’s license, registration and insurance information to any other drivers involved and to the owner of any unattended vehicle or property. NRS 484.229

— Seat Belts
Buckle Up! Nevada law requires seat belt use by all occupants in a vehicle. Children under the age of six who weigh less than 60 pounds must be in an approved child restraint system that is properly installed. Visit the Give ‘Em A Boost Nevada website at www.giveemaboostnv.org to learn more about Nevada’s new booster seat law. NRS 484.641

Seat Belts and Child Safety: Nevada revised statutes 484.641 and 484.474 require that front and rear seat occupants of almost all passenger vehicles wear safety belts or ride in an approved child restraint system. All children ages 12 and under should sit in the back seat, properly restrained whenever possible. Call 888-dash-2-dot or visit www.nhtsa.gov for more information.

Passengers under 18 may not ride in the back of a pickup or flatbed truck. This applies in all Nevada counties and on all types of roads. The law does not apply, however, to farming and ranching activity, parades, camper shells or slide-in campers.
Any child under six years of age who weighs less than 60 pounds must ride in an approved child restraint system. Best practices for kid safety include:
  • Use rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to at least one year old and at least 20 pounds.
  • Use forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from age one and 20 pounds to about age four and 40 pounds.
  • Use booster seats in the back seat from about age four to at least age eight or until your child reaches 4’9”.
  • Use safety belts for all passengers age eight or older or taller than 4’9”. All children 12 and under should ride in the back seat.

Remember:
  1. Never use just a lap belt across a child sitting in a booster seat designed for shoulder belts.
  2. Never use pillows, books or towels to boost a child, they can slide around.
  3. Never put a shoulder belt behind anyone’s arm or back because it eliminates the protection for the upper part of the body and increases the risk of severe injury in a crash.

Experts indicate that four of five child-safety seats are installed improperly. To learn more about child-safety seats, visit www.seatcheck.org or call Safe Kids Coalition in Las Vegas at (702) 731-8666 for a free safety seat inspection.

— Right on Red
You are allowed to turn right on a red light after coming to a full stop, unless otherwise posted. You must be in the extreme right-hand lane and yield to pedestrians and all traffic moving through the intersection. NRS 484.283 7(c)

— U-Turns
U-turns are generally allowed if they can be completed safely. In business areas, you must be at an intersection or on a divided highway where an appropriate opening exists. U-turns are not allowed where prohibited by a traffic sign or signal, or if there is less than 500 feet visibility in both directions. NRS 484.337

— Basic Rule
Nevada has a Basic Rule for driving at reasonable and proper speeds. This means that in addition to any posted speed limits, you must consider the amount and type of traffic, weather, road conditions and other factors. The proper speed may be considerably less than the posted limit. NRS 484.361

— School Buses
Drivers are required to stop for school buses when students are boarding and departing and when a bus is displaying its flashing red lights. On divided highways, traffic moving in the opposite direction does not have to stop. On all other roads, traffic in both directions must stop. NRS 484.357

— Bicycles
Bicycles have all of the rights and responsibilities of a motor vehicle when riding in traffic. Cyclists are required to signal and obey traffic laws. They can ride in any traffic lane when necessary but should generally stay as far to the right as possible. NRS 484.324

— Pedestrians
Vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians in unmarked crossing areas at intersections, at crosswalks where there are no traffic signals and at marked and signaled crosswalks. NRS 484.3245

Pet Licensing and Laws – Las Vegas Licensing
All residents within the city of Las Vegas are required to license their pets. All dogs, cats and ferrets over the age of four months and kept in the city of Las Vegas must be licensed. The license provides proof of ownership, identification should your pet get lost and proof of rabies vaccination. Pet licenses can be obtained from the Lied Animal Shelter located at 655 N. Mojave Road.

— Dog and Cat Licenses
Dog/Cat - Sterile                                                                                         
Fee:                                                                                                                 $ 10
Fee (Seniors):                                                                                               $  5
Renewable:Annually
A copy of a rabies certificate and spay/neuter certificate is required

Dog/Cat - Fertile
Fee:                                                                                                                 $ 25
Fee (Seniors):                                                                                               $ 15
Renewable:Annually
A copy of a rabies certificate is required.

— Vaccinations
The law requires rabies vaccinations for dogs, cats and ferrets within 30 days after reaching three months of age. Rabies vaccinations must be given by a licensed veterinarian.

— Animal Laws
  • Restraint Law: It is a misdemeanor for any animal to be at large within the city limits of Las Vegas.
  • Sanitation: Pet owners are responsible to keep their private property clean and free of animal waste and odor. Likewise, pet owners must promptly clean animal waste from public property or the property of others. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.
  • Barking Dogs: The owner of a dog that barks excessively, or any noisy animal, may be criminally prosecuted if the problem is not corrected.
  • Biting Animals: The owner of a biting animal is often civilly liable for personal injury, and depending on the circumstances, can be criminally prosecuted.

Pet Licensing and Laws – Clark County
— Owning Pets
Clark County code allows a person to keep up to three dogs and three cats on his property. If a person has more than three cats and three dogs, he must have a pet fancier’s permit. A pet fancier’s permit costs $25 and needs to be renewed annually.

— Licensing
Clark County no longer issues or requires animal licenses. All dogs, cats and ferrets within the unincorporated area of Clark County are required to have one of the following forms of identification.
  • Microchip device.
  • Current owner identification tag.
  • Rabies tag.

— Vaccinations
All dogs, cats and ferrets within the unincorporated area of Clark County are required to be vaccinated for rabies. Dogs and cats over one year of age receive a vaccination that is good for three years after the date administered. Dogs and cats under one year of age receive a vaccination that is good for one year from the date administered. For ferrets, vaccinations expire one year after the date administered.

Voter Registration
Once you’ve officially moved, you should take time to register to vote. Here are the guidelines for residents of Nevada.

Register to vote if you:
  1. Are not currently registered to vote in Clark County and wish to vote or changed your place of residence and/or mailing address since your last registration (or use a “change of address notice” card).
  2. Want to change your party affiliation.
  3. Changed your name since your last registration and meet all of the qualifications below.

Qualifications for registering to vote: Before registering to vote in Clark County, you must:
  1. Be a U.S. citizen.
  2. Be at least 18 years of age by election day (you may register if you are 17 years old and will be 18 by the next election day).
  3. Have continuously resided in Clark County for at least 30 days and in your precinct for at least 10 days before the next election.
  4. Claim no other place as your legal residence.
  5. Not currently be laboring under any felony conviction or other loss of civil rights that would make it unlawful for you to vote (convicted felons who have had their civil rights restored are eligible to register to vote).
  6. Not be determined by a court of law to be mentally incompetent.

Submit an application: If you meet all of the qualifications above, you may submit a voter registration application to the Clark County Election Department. After completing an application, make sure you detach and keep the receipt at the bottom. Your application cannot be fully processed and you will not be registered to vote in Clark County unless you include the following required information:
  • Name.
  • Clark County residential address.
  • Date of birth.
  • Political party affiliation.
  • Nevada driver’s license number (current and valid). If you don’t have such a license, list the last four digits of your social security number. If you don’t have a Social Security Number, call the election department for instructions.
  • Signature – If you cannot sign your name, you must register and provide identification in person at the election department. If you cannot appear in person, the election department will send an official to you. Stamped signatures and power of attorney are not acceptable.

Voters who did not provide identification when they registered and who have not yet voted in a Clark County election must submit one of the following, or they will be required to provide identification when they vote in person or request a mail ballot:
  • Copy of a current and valid photo identification, such as a Nevada driver’s license, Nevada I.D. card or military identification card.
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or document issued by a governmental entity, such as a check, listing the registrant’s name and residential address.

— Where to Register to Vote
In person: You may register in person or before a field registrar who is a volunteer trained to register qualified residents on behalf of the registrar of voters, or at one of the following locations:
  • Clark County election department.
  • Any city clerk’s office.
  • The department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Any Nevada state welfare agency or WIC office.

By mail: Mail-in voter registration applications are available at:
  • Any City Clerk’s office.
  • The Clark County Election Department, call (702) 455-vote (8683).
  • Most utility companies.
  • Libraries.
  • Political party headquarters.
  • Chambers of commerce.
  • Some banks.
  • Post offices.

Keep your receipt: Whether you register in person or by mail, make sure you detach the receipt from your application and retain it as proof of your registration. Keep it until you receive your voter registration card or until you vote. If for some reason the election department did not receive your application, the receipt will greatly aid in researching the matter.

When to expect your voter registration card: The election department will mail you a voter registration card when:
  • You submit a properly completed voter registration application.
  • You update your registration data, e.g., change your name, address or party affiliation.
  • The election department makes changes to your polling place, precinct or political district(s).

If you do not receive your card within two weeks after submitting a voter registration application or updating your registration data or if you lose your card and would like another, call (702) 455-VOTE (8683).

For more information, contact the Clark County office:
Larry Lomax, Registrar of Voters
965 Trade Drive, Suite A
North Las Vegas, NV 89030-7802
(702)-455-VOTE (8683)
Email: HLL@co.clark.nv.us

Freeways
The Las Vegas metropolitan area is characterized by a fully developed surface transportation network, including arterial streets, limited-access expressways and access-controlled freeways. Interstate 15 (I-15) runs north and south approximately through the middle of the metro area. The area has experienced an aggressive freeway construction and reconstruction program that has significantly expanded capacity. Other major freeways in the area include I-515, US-95, US-93 and I-215.

Outside of the Las Vegas urban area, the major regional routes are:
  • US-6 – runs northeast and southwest through the northern part of the area, providing a link between Salt Lake City and central California.
  • US-95 – runs northwest and southeast near the western boundary of the reigon, providing a connection between the Reno/Sparks/Carson City area and the Las Vegas metropolitan area.
  • US-93 – runs roughly north/south along the eastern portion of the area and is part of the CANAMEX National Highway Priority Corridor.
  • I-15 – runs roughly northeast and southwest, providing connection between the Salt Lake City area and Southern California, part of the CANAMEX and Economic Lifeline National High-Priority Corridors.

Outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, with the exception of I-15, most of the regional routes listed above are high-design, two-lane rural highways, occasionally expanding to four lanes through towns. I-15 is a four-lane freeway that widens through urban areas, carrying 16,000 to 230,000 vehicles per day, with higher volumes being in the central Las Vegas metropolitan area.

Also within the Las Vegas metropolitan area are freeways US-95 and I-515/Route 215, which are fully access controlled freeways. They are mostly six to eight lanes freeways with average daily traffic ranging from approximately 17,000 to 156,000 vehicles.

Transportation
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is the transit authority transportation planning agency and regional traffic management agency for Southern Nevada.

The RTC is helping to create sustainable communities by supporting all types of transportation, including walking, biking and mass transit, all key to cutting congestion in the Las Vegas Valley.

RTC’s transit system is comprised of the Citizen Area Transit, Metropolitan Area Express, Deuce and the upcoming ACE routes. Transit passes can be purchased online, through mail orders or in person at the Downtown Transportation Center (DTC), South Strip Transfer Terminal (SSTT), RTC Administration Building, vendor locations throughout town or ticket vending machines (TVMs).

RTC representatives are available at the DTC and SSTT to answer questions about routes and schedules, sell transit passes and process applications for RTC reduced-fare photo ID cards. The DTC and SSTT customer service booth is open seven days a week. Visit the website at www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/transit/fares_passes.cfm for more information.

Currently, the RTC is working on:
  • Transit enchancements
  • Carpool lanes (High Occupancy Vehicle or HOV lanes).
  • Transit terminals/Park and Ride facilities.
  • Rapid transit projects.
  • The Bruce Woodbury 215 Beltway.
  • More than 1,700 miles of bike lanes and routes over the next 25 years.

— RTC At A Glance
  • Area served (square miles):..................................................382
  • Population served:.......................................................1.9 million
  • Total fixed route & specialized services coaches:.............661
  • Active bus stops:...................................................................3,567
  • Stops with passenger shelters:........................................1,305
  • Transit centers:.............................................................................2
  • Operations & maintenance facilities:.......................................2
  • Park and ride lots:........................................................................1
  • Total RTC fleet:........................................................................661
Source: RTC, 2009

Las Vegas Monorail
The Las Vegas Monorail Company runs the only privately owned public transportation system in the United States. The elevated train system travels along a 3.9-mile route, making seven stops and connecting major hotels and attractions along the Las Vegas Strip. The current stops are Sahara, Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas Convention Center, Harrah’s/Imperial Palace, Flamingo/Caesars Palace and Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas Stations. The monorail operates Monday – Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday – Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Learn more at www.lvmonorail.com.

McCarran International Airport
McCarran International Airport has served as the city’s gateway for visitors since its beginning in 1948. McCarran provides service to nearly 46.2 million passengers arriving and departing the city each year. It is currently the sixth busiest airport in the nation and is part of the Clark County Airport System, which operates five airports, including four general aviation airports. McCarran consists of 96 aircraft gates at two separate terminal buildings. There are more than 50 retail shops and over 30 restaurants, lounges and snack bars at the airport. Flight status and contact information for individual air carriers can be found on the airport’s website at www.mccarran.com.

Important numbers at McCarran:
  • Administration:                                                                                 (702) 261-5100
  • General Information:                                                                       (702) 261-5211
  • Flight Info:                                                                                          (702) 261-4636
  • Parking Info:                                                                                      (702) 261-5121
  • Facsimile:                                                                                         (702) 597-9553
  • Lost & Found:                                                                                   (702) 261-5134
  • Paging:                                                                                              (702) 261-5211
  • TDD:                                                                                                   (702) 261-3111

Police and Fire Services
— Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Since 1973, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) has been protecting the residents of Las Vegas. LVMPD, commonly referred to as “Metro,” serves the city limits of Las Vegas and the unincorporated areas of Clark County. Metro operates eight area-command facilities and has more than 5,300 members, of which more than 2,500 are police officers of various ranks and more than 750 are corrections officers of various ranks.

LVMPD is one of the few police departments in the nation with an elected sheriff as its head. Both the city of Las Vegas and Clark County fund the department jointly. Funding is based on a formula consisting of the number of calls for service, population and other factors. The sheriff and much of the executive staff are located at Las Vegas City Hall.

The total jurisdiction for the LVMPD consists of 7,560 square miles. In 1973, the city and county population under the LVMPD’s jurisdiction was listed at 215,454; in July 2007 it had grown to 1.4 million. Police officers patrolling the Valley are assigned to eight area commands. Citizens can request information, file crime reports, report accidents and talk to the police officers who serve their area from any of their respective centers, which are listed below:
  • Bolden: 1851 Stella Lake Street
  • Convention Center: 750 Sierra Vista Drive
  • Downtown: 621 North Ninth Street
  • Enterprise: 6975 West Windmill Lane
  • Northeast: 831 North Mojave Road
  • Northwest: 9850 West Cheyenne Avenue
  • South Central: 4860 South Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Southeast: 3675 East Harmon Avenue

The department maintains a comprehensive forensics laboratory including fingerprint identification, ballistics, handwriting analysis and DNA testing. The Communications Bureau operates as the public safety answering point for the LVMPD. It has an enhanced 9-1-1 system.

Police Personnel
  • Full-Time Positions Authorized:...............................................5,447
  • Commissioned Officers:...........................................................2,815
  • Civilian:.........................................................................................1,830
  • Detention Officers:.........................................................................802
  • Civilians:..........................................................................................322
  • Airport Officers:.................................................................................79
  • Airport Civilians:..................................................................................7

— Public Safety – Fire and Rescue
The 690 employees of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue help protect one of the most recognizable cities in the world. Las Vegas Fire & Rescue is one of only eight departments worldwide that have attained both an Insurance Services Office Class One rating and is accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.

Fire Operations, Prevention and Inspection: Las Vegas Fire and Rescue operates 19 fire engines, six ladder trucks, 20 ambulances, a technical rescue team, water tanker, air/light unit, mobile command post and two hazardous materials units placed at 17 fire stations strategically located throughout the city. Fire prevention staff conducts inspections at construction sites and at current businesses to ensure that fire and life safety codes are adhered to.

The Fire Protection Engineering & Planning section works with planners and architects to review new construction plans or existing upgrades/modifications to ensure the plans meet fire and life safety codes. In addition, the department operates the only public safety bomb squad in Southern Nevada and offers a fully-equipped hazardous materials team ready to handle any emergency, including acts of terrorism.

Emergency Medical Services: The department operates 20 licensed advance life support ambulances; all 19 fire engines are also paramedic rated, providing 36 paramedic units to the city. Further, the department operates a Technical Rescue Team, which is equipped with the latest in rescue and extrication equipment. All firefighters are either certified emergency medical technicians or certified paramedics.

The Office of Public Information & Education provides instruction in fire and life safety to local schools, civic groups and businesses. Courses are available in the operation of fire extinguishers and building evacuations. Several national award-winning programs are available for free. Call (702) 383-2888 for more information.

Additional services are also available to the public and businesses. For more information, visit the department’s Web site at www.lasvegasfire.org.

Fire and Rescue Personnel and Equipment:
  • Uniformed/Civilian:.....................................................................690
  • Paramedic Rescue Units:...........................................................20
  • Pumpers/Engines:........................................................................19
  • Mobile Air and Light Unit:...............................................................1
  • Ladder Trucks:.................................................................................6
  • Heavy Rescue Unit:.........................................................................1
  • Mobile Command Post:.................................................................1
  • Bomb Squad:...................................................................................1
  • Hazmat Vehicle:...............................................................................2
  • Water Tender:...................................................................................1
  • Fire Stations:..................................................................................17
  • Insurance Rating:Class.................................................................1

Living in a Desert Climate
— Geography and Climate
With an altitude of 2,028 feet above sea level, Las Vegas is located in the Mojave Desert, and is its largest city. Mountains surrounding the Las Vegas Valley extend 2,000 to 10,000 feet above the Valley floor. The Las Vegas Valley, comprised of approximately 600 square miles, runs from northwest to southeast. The Sheep Range bound the valley on the north, the Black Mountains bound the valley on the south, and the Spring Mountains are to the west, which includes Mt. Charleston, the region’s highest peak at 11,918 feet. There are several smaller ranges on the eastern rim of the valley, including the Muddy Mountains and the Eldorado Range.

The climate in Southern Nevada is generally very pleasant during the fall, winter and spring. Winters are mild and pleasant with afternoon temperatures near 60 degrees and skies are mostly clear. The spring and fall seasons are generally considered ideal. Although rather sharp temperature changes can occur during these months, outdoor activities are seldom hampered. In the summer months of June through August, lows are in the 70s with temperatures climbing into the 100s, but it’s a dry heat with extremely low humidity.

— Las Vegas Monthly Average High/Low Temperatures – 2009
  • January:...............................................61.1 / 40.9
  • February:.............................................61.2 / 42.6
  • March:..................................................70.6 / 49.0                        
  • April:.....................................................77.9 / 54.0                                      
  • May:......................................................95.1 / 72.1                                                 
  • June:....................................................94.0 / 72.9                                                
  • July:....................................................106.0 / 83.4                                                  
  • August:..............................................102.3 / 78.8                                             
  • September:.........................................97.3 / 75.1                                   
  • October:...............................................77.5 / 56.5                               
  • November:..........................................70.0 / 48.3                                
  • December:..........................................53.7 / 37.2                                
  • Annual Average:.................................80.7 / 59.3                             
An important aspect of the area’s quality of life is its dramatic desert landscape. Residents enjoy gorgeous sunsets framed by beautiful mountains and the sheer natural beauty of the terrain. There are specific conditions to be aware of living in the Valley, which can help prepare newcomers. These can include:

— Flash Flooding
Due to the few rainy days experienced in the region, the desert ground isn’t absorbent. When it rains, flash floods are common, and they happen in just seconds.

Here are some tips for staying safe in flash flood conditions:
  1. Never drive through flood areas; water erodes the soil under roads and causes the pavement to collapse.
  2. Stay away from moving waters and low areas.
  3. Stay out of dry washes.
  4. Avoid flood-prone areas; look for alternate routes.
  5. If a flood is coming, shut off the gas and electricity and move valuable contents upstairs.
  6. Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The second most prevalent flood killer is electrocution as electrical current travels through water. Report downed wires to the power company.
Source: City of Henderson, 2009

For more information on flash flooding, visit the Clark County Regional Flood Control District at www.ccrfcd.org.

— Windy Weather
The desert winds also pose hazards to health and property. Here are some tips for windy days:
Be cautious with car doors as they can blow open and/or closed, possibly causing personal injury.
Patio furniture should be secured and patio umbrellas should be closed as winds often toss these items around.
Dust clouds are common in wind storms and the dust is easily inhaled. If you have respiratory problems, stay inside on windy days.
High-profile vehicles can be blown from one lane to the next, so drive with caution in windy conditions if you own or drive one of these vehicles.

— Extreme Heat
While the desert climate is ideal for active lifestyles, with 300 days of sunshine per year and a healthy mean temperature of 66 degrees, there are summer days where the temperature exceeds 115 degrees. It is important to note the dangers of this extreme heat.
Walking barefoot on pavement especially blacktop, may cause 2nd and 3rd degree burns to your feet. Always wear shoes to prevent injury.

When the temperature outside is 115 degrees, the temperature within a vehicle can be upwards of 165 degrees. Therefore, it’s a good idea not to leave anything in your car that is perishable, could melt or be damaged by intense heat. Never leave the following in
your car:
  • Children.
  • Pets.
  • Cans of soda, which may explode in this heat.
  • Electronic devices such as cellular phones, laptops and PDAs. The heat may cause these devices to fail.

Other things to avoid leaving in the car include crayons and lipstick/lip balm; both get very messy when melted.

If you become stranded, do not leave your car, do wear a hat and sunglasses and drink lots of water. It’s a good idea to always have a bottle of water in your car.

Water Conservation
— Mandatory Watering Schedule
Watering restrictions allow watering any day of the week from May 1 through Aug. 31. Mandatory watering restrictions prohibit sprinkler irrigation between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. from May 1 until October. 1. During the hottest hours of the day, water is often lost to evaporation from the heat and high winds. Watering during restricted hours is considered water waste and may result in a water waste citation. You may hand water your landscape at any time of day, but use a hose with a positive shut-off nozzle. While daily landscape watering is permitted, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) reiterates that landscapes can stay healthy and look great with less water. Monitor your landscape closely during the hot summer days and adjust watering times or add watering days only as needed.

Follow these recommendations from SNWA:
  • Water your landscape after sunset and before sunrise to reduce evaporation caused by wind and heat.
  • One way to keep your water bill down during peak temperatures is to cut one watering day per week out of your daily sprinkler schedule. Taking just one day off can reduce your water use by as much as 10 to 15 percent.
  • Use the cycle and soak sprinkler irrigation method, which a
 
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